From the February 01, 2011 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Top 25 people and events in 2010


On the heels and in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, 2010 was one of the more interesting years in financial markets. Here, with some help from our readers, we attempt to list the most influential people and events that shaped this unique year in markets. We suspect that we missed some, and we are sure your list may be different, but this is what we have come up with. We welcome your input in the online comment section.


Barack Obama, President of the United States. With the backing of a Democrat controlled Congress, Obama was able to pass the controversial Health Care bill and sweeping financial reform with the intention of removing systemic risk from the nation’s financial centers.

Republican landslide. Taking advantage of the slow pace of recovery and fueled by anger generated by the Tea Party movement over bailouts and Health Care reform, the GOP produced a massive shift in Congress, putting John Boehner (Rep. Ohio) in the Speaker’s chair.

Barney Frank/Chris Dodd, Chairs of financial committees during 111th Congress. Dodd and Frank co-authored the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Its passage brought the largest reform to the United States financial centers since the Great Depression.

Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank. Throughout 2010, Europe was rocked with multiple sovereign debt crises as a number of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) faced the possibility of default. Under Trichet, the European Central Bank bailed out Greece and Ireland.

AngelA Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. Not only is Germany Europe’s largest economy, it is also its most prosperous and stable one. While decisions over the solvency of Europe’s peripheral countries are made in Brussels, they must go through Merkel as well.

Hu Jintao, President and Paramount Leader of People’s Republic of China. The title should tell you all you need to know. U.S. leaders have been trying to twist his arm to float the Chinese yuan. But when you are the world’s largest creditor, you get to do the arm twisting.

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